Distal radius volar locking plates : Does a variable angle locking system confer a clinical Advantage

Published online: Jun 27 2012

William J. MARLOW, Rohit SINGHAL, Sujay DHEERENDRA, Peter RALTE, Jochen FISCHER, Mohammad WASEEM

From Macclesfield District General Hospital, Macclesfield, U.K.


This retrospective study compared clinical, radiological and subjective outcomes between patients with a distal radius fracture fixed with a variable angle or fixed angle volar locking plate. Radiological parameters were assessed between initial and final post-operative films. Post-operative clinical range of motion as a proportion of that in the opposite wrist was assessed clinically, and satisfaction and subjective outcomes were assessed by questionnaire. One hundred and seven patients were included in the study ; 65 underwent fixation with a variable angle and 42 with a fixed angle locking plate. There were five complications and secondary operations in each group. There was no significant difference between the groups in radiological parameters measured or the proportional range of motion. Visual analogue scale, Mayo Wrist and Quick DASH scores were not significantly different between the groups. Neither the subjective nor clinical outcomes of this study demonstrated clinical superiority of either plate system.